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Definitively deserves more than one day of visit

Story by Fabien Bazanegue August 22nd, 2017

On our way to the Pacific Coast and after passing through Death Valley, we could not miss to cross Yosemite National Park from East to West.

Only one day was planned to do so, we will discover it was far way not sufficient for this treasure of California.

Anyway, after a night at Mammoth Lake, we headed north to reach the eastern entrance of Yosemite riding the stunning Tioga Road that took us up to the Tioga Pass, the only eastern entrance of the Park located at 3,030 meters of altitude. Yes you read right ! You 'd better not suffer from altitude sickness !

We made a first stop at Tuolumne Meadows. We wanted to do a small hike before getting into the heart of Yosemite.

Ellery Lake
Tuolumne Meadows
Soda Springs at Tuolumne Meadows
Soda Springs at Tuolumne Meadows


Our first encounter was with a couple of deers (they were three actually) that came to get some drink at the river. They were not so wild as we managed to get quite close to them, but not too much ;)


Dog Lake and Lembert Dome

Our little hike continued towards Dog Lake where we initially wanted to settle for lunch. Unfortunately, the shorelines were infected with hundreds of dragonflies which made the picnic impossible :D

Dog Lake
Dog Lake
Lembert Dome

On our way back to Tuolumne Meadows we then made a little detour and decided to climb (almost) at the top of the Lembert Dome (2,880 meters high). The view there was amazing. It was the perfect place to enjoy our lunch !!

Lembert Dome

Going back to our car that was parked close to the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, we took a bit of the Pacific Crest trail continued with a mile or so on the John Muir trail.

Along Pacific Crest Trail at Tuolumne Meadows
Pacific Crest Trail
Along John Muir Trail at Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows

On the road again

It was now the middle of the afternoon and we still got a lot to drive to get through the Park on it western side. We headed towards Yosemite Valley and made a quick stop at Olmsted Point. There, we were able to have a first view on the Half Dome.

Half Dome view from Olmsted Point
Olmsted Point
Olmsted Point

Yosemite Valley

If there is one advise I can make is to avoid Yosemite Valley during the Weekend, especially in Summer or at least get there early. You will not get stuck into the traffic jam that was paralyzing the valley when we finally got there around 6 pm !

Nevertheless, even if we did not manage to reach the parking lot, we were able to do a quick loop allowing us to admire some of the treasures of the Valley like El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls.

El Capitan
El Capitan
Bridalveil Fall
Bridalveil Fall

time to leave

Tunnel View

After a last stop at the unmissable Tunnel View with its stunning panorama on the Valley, El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls it was time to take the road again.

What is for sure is that getting through Yosemite in only one day is definitively not enough. We will have to come back there, one day.

Bridalveil Fall
El Capitan
Half Dome
Footnote: All photos taken with a Canon 6D
Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass Road, CA, United States